The only thing that I can never forget in my first visit to Divisoria is the stench. Recto Avenue, within the Divisoria, is one of the smelliest areas that I ever visited in my whole life. I believe that the smell emanates from the decades-long accumulation of odor that was never removed because Recto Avenue never got the chance to be cleaned by street sweepers of Manila. But don’t let the stench of Divisoria turn you off because this is still the best place to go to for affordable Christmas items.
I recently visited Divisoria to look items that I can buy for my godchildren. Fortunately, it was not my first time to visit Divisoria so I know what to experience in that place. An American visitor of our office commented that Divisoria is worse than the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. He had a hard time navigating Divisoria because the streets are too crowded. He had no choice but to give up his comfort zone and walk side by side with buyers and vendors in Divisoria.
|Vendors hogging the streets of Divisoria.|
My first stop is Divisoria Mall, which is located at the corner of Commercio and Tabora Streets. The mall is just an oversized Raon or the common palengke. The corridors are too crowded and some of the vendors placed their merchandise outside their booths. It is in this mall where I discovered that Divisoria is the place where tons of the cheap toys from China are delivered. The toys will then be bought and brought by retailers to different markets all around the Philippines. Now I know where to go if I want to buy toys for my godchildren.
The next mall that I visited is the 168 Mall, which is the most popular mall in Divisoria. This mall is less crowded that Divisoria Mall. Near this mall are the 999 Mall and other malls that are named after lucky numbers. I went to 168 Mall to look for an affordable DVD player with TV.
Divisoria is one chaotic place. I always get lost whenever I visit the place. One time, I reached Andres Bonifacio’s monument in Tutuban while I was looking for a way out of Divisoria. This time, I reached Ongpin Street while I was looking for a way out of Divisoria. Well, getting lost is the reward for those people, like me, who doesn’t ask for directions.